James Jamerson/LaBella Flats Final Post!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by armybass, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I think I have found the final bit of proof to the argument that James Jamerson used Labella Flatwound Strings;

    In a Guitar Player interview from 1979, JAMERSON, states about his 62 Fender P Bass (The Funk Machine)
    That pretty much wraps it up for me folks. I am not too concerned about what some producer says ect. James Jamerson said he took the stock strings off the bass and put LaBellas on it when he got it. That must be where the "rumor" came from.

    Jamerson says in the same article that in the last years of his life, bass players were contacting him and asking him what strings he used ect. James replied that the sound was not in the strings, it was in his heart. I could not agree any more. I have LaBellas on my P Bass and I play the same lines James played and I don't sound anything like the man. But the LaBellas do sound very good on my P Bass and maybe that is as close to sounding like James as I will ever get.
  2. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Hi, I liked your post. By the way, what is the string tension like on the LaBellas?

    I have the Fender medium Flatwounds on my Precison. They have a great sound and I love the smoothness of them but the tension is very high. If your action isn't set low, they feel like solid cables. I've read this several times from other players. The Fenders are great value, sound great, plus they have a superb smooth finish, but they are a little tougher to play and bend due to the high string tension.

    Many say that the Thomastik Infeld flatwounds are quite "soft" and are low tension. They are also quite expensive.

    Although I have the American series with the graphite reinforcement, I would still like less force exerted on the neck and something a little easier on the fingers.

    How would you describe the Labellas?
  3. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Thanks, I had D'Addarrio Chromes on this bass first and they were the perfect tension for my bass. Since I have put the LaBellas on it they seem to be a bit heavier than the D'Addarrio. I really liked the feel of the D'Addarrios but prefer the sound of the LaBellas, it is just going to take a bit of tweaking to get it set up. I have heard good things about the Fenders and the TI's. I know lots of folks who swear by the TI's. I do not care for the very low tension they have. I am uused to a little more resistance from my strings for the style of music I play. I also like my action very low and got a bit of buzz out of the TI's and could never get my bass set up to my liking with the TI's. The LaBellas are a little high now but I just need to lower them a tad for my taste. But I really think that they give me the Jamerson tone and feel. The bass just sounds like 1964 to me, if that makes any sense. If you are looking for a good affordable string, the D'Addarrios are not very expensive and I got my LaBellas for $25 in Washington DC, not sure how much they are in your area. GHS Precision flats are not too bad either, but I think I prefer the D'Addarrios and the LaBellas to any of the others mentioned.

    BTW, the tension of the LaBellas Deep Talking Flats is Medium for the set I have. The Jamerson set is a heavier set and has pretty high tension. I would not put those on any bass, too much for me I think.
  4. Tbass66


    Mar 15, 2002
    I had the Labella flats 39-96 gauge on my ric4003 bass not long ago and the tension was noticably less the the D'Addarrio Chromes 40-95..would say the Labella 39-96 almost had a TI feel to them but not as floppy..still to light for my taste so i have the Labella 43-104 on order..i'll post the results:bassist:
  5. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Looks like those LaBellas may be the ticket. Unfortunately, I don't see them much around Toronto. I don't see any flatwounds around Toronto area stores it seems. Lots of D'Addario, Fender, Ernie Ball, Dean Markley, and Rotosound roudnwounds, but little of anything else.

    The last pair of LaBellas I bought were the Hard Rockin Steels for my Fender Jazz-V (now gone). I had to order them from Juststrings.com.

    Thanks for the advice.
  6. The tension on the 0760M set is 197 pounds. This is about upper-middle of the 4-string tension range.
  7. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Thanks for the info Bgavin, which manufacturer are you referring to with that 0760M model designation? Not familiar with it sorry.

    Okay, now I know, you're referring to LaBella. That total lbs. force does seem kind of high.
  8. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    TBass66, you are correct, the LaBellas are listed as medium/soft tension while the D'Addarrio Chromes are listed as tight tension.
  9. Tbass66


    Mar 15, 2002
    Well i got the Labella 43-60-82-104 flats on my bass now and so far very happy with them :) I had Dean Markley flats 45-65-80-100 on before and the tension of the Labella's are much less then the DM's and they are more flexable (less tension) then the the majority of other flats i have tried with similar gauges. Out of the box they sound a little brighter then the other brands of flats ive played but i'm still able to dig some nice lows out of them..they are very clear sounding also. I'll guess that they will melow out and become a little more thuddy when i play them in a bit. I'm really diggin the 43-104 gauge alot..very comfortable and fast with the slightly lighter d & g string...very happy so far with the labella's. I'm guessing that when people talk of the Labella's being high tension they are referring to the heavier sets like the jamersons.:bassist:
  10. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    Will the Labella flats fit a Modulus?
  11. Tbass66


    Mar 15, 2002